Best Friends in Marriage

The posts have been about friendship this week, we can’t forget our BEST earthly friend and the importance of maintaining  our relationship with him!

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Yesterday found my husband and me in the basement going through some boxes of “stuff.” Stuffed animals, old toys, pictures, school annuals, dolls, dishes, and books were sorted through. I was down there for several hours – not because I got so much accomplished, necessarily, but because when I go through old things it brings back memories and I have to stop and reflect! My husband and I passed many pictures back and forth to one another. “Oh, remember this?” “Look at us! How hilarious!” (You will not be seeing any of those pictures posted here!) Not only did we recall many special times from our past, but it was a sweet time together recounting good memories and numerous blessings.

I also leafed through a couple of the books that I hadn’t read in a while. One book was on marriage and there was a chapter on being best friends with your mate. The highlights were how important it is to spend time together having fun, talking, sharing your heart, and being open with one another. I smiled – we had done that even in a cool basement on Memorial Day when most of our neighbors were probably out at the lake or at the park having a picnic with their extended family. We had shared secret memories of times and places when notes were found written in our handwriting. We’d laughed. We’d talked about times when our girls were growing up. This is what friends do.

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After we’d had our grilled hamburgers later in the evening, we headed out for a drive through the countryside. Opening the sun roof on the car, the warm air blew through as we pointed at beautiful homes, the clouds over the mountain or a row of flags in a front yard. We even stopped for an ice cream at Dari ace – so cute! It was a great end to a fun day spent with my best friend.

Are you still best friends with your husband? Are you spending time together? I don’t mean time living – I mean time just being together. What tone of voice do you use when you speak to him or repeat an answer to his question? Is it the tone that one would use with their best friend? God gave Adam a wife so he would have a companion. Are you and I being the best kind of completer that we could possibly be? Best friends give each other the benefit of the doubt, love when no one else loves, and enjoy just doing little things together. Is your husband the one you spend that kind of time with? Don’t replace his companionship with that of your girlfriend, sister or parents. That is not God’s plan for a married woman.

I am planning on re-reading that book I found. It was a good reminder for me. We all need to be encouraged in what a godly marriage looks like. I’m thankful for a day in the basement that helped me to be refreshed in the friendship part of our marriage!

With love,

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P.S. I believe the book I was referring to is, The Ministry of Marriage, by Jim Binney.

Strategies for Simplifying Life

Wow, I’ve got a lot going on in my world, as I’m sure you do, too. As I’ve thought through a few ways to simplify my life this day/week/year, I thought I’d share my strategy with you.  Do you need encouragement in that area like I do?

Strategy #1 –   Pray – Whenever I get a little overwhelmed, I try to remember to run to my prayer closet  and give my plans, my cares and my day to the Lord.  He then directs my steps and I accomplish what He knows is necessary and I let go of the rest! So if this first week of a new year finds you a little out of breath, breathe upward in prayer!

Strategy #2 – Un-clutter – Sometimes there’s just too much material stuff that we are dealing with and we need to un-clutter and pare down.  I did that recently with my Christmas decor. I went through every box, and removed the things I haven’t used in a couple years or that I don’t LOVE!  I ended up with FOUR empty bins!  It felt so good putting away only the things I will really use!

I also put the things into bins by the rooms in which I use them.  That way next year I can pick up the bin for the kitchen and living room and head there with the decor, without having to go from room to room!

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You may need to ask yourself what area feels cluttered and work on that space first.  Get rid of things by donating and do it quickly!  The longer it hangs around, the more likely you are to let it become another cluttered pile!  Is it a closet?  A drawer?  A desktop or counter?  Do one space at a time and find the freedom that comes from un-cluttering that space!

Strategy #3 – Make lists – I know there are people out there who don’t make lists, but if I don’t have lists of

  • Today’s agenda – and things that I need to work on
  • Shopping lists
  • Menu

I’d forget so much!  I keep a pad by my bed, at the kitchen counter and at my desk.  If things come to my mind, I jot it down before it’s gone from my memory!

Look at this deal I got on my new planner for 2017…

It has pocket dividers as well as tabs.  Love that!  Nothing like having a brand new planner to fill in!  This will keep me organized!

What do you do to simplify your life and help you feel able to breathe?

 

Go simplify your life!  =)

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Time for a Check Up

You put on your favorite jeans and notice that you have to take a really deep breath in to get them to button up.  An alarm goes off in your head telling you that a couple pounds need to come off!  So, you turn down dessert, say “no” to your coffee treats, and eat salad for lunch for the next week or two. You make another trip into the closet to try the jeans on again and you smile as they button up just fine.

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That little exercise is necessary, if you don’t want to have to buy the next size up in clothes, and you’re going to stay the same healthy weight. It’s a “check-up” that can pay off, if you pay attention.  It’s up to you, isn’t it?  No one is going to tap you on the shoulder and tell you not to eat potato chips and chocolate bars.  We do it for ourselves, if we want to stay fit and healthy.

What about spiritual check-ups?  How do you know when you need to lean away from the worldly influences and lean in harder to what will contribute to your spiritual health?  Reading and hearing God’s Word is one way we determine that, and I pray that even this blog and its simple posts will serve to push you a little closer each week to the God who made you and loves you.

That said, let’s try to “button up your spiritual jeans,” if you will.

  • Do you have an appetite and longing for God’s Word, or is it a duty you’re checking off each day?
  • Are you spending time truly interceding in prayer for your burdens and for others’?
  • Do you love to be in God’s house, or are you making excuses to avoid attending?
  • Are you serving the Lord faithfully at your church and with a right heart (not out of duty or with a critical spirit)?
  • Are you regularly seeking opportunities to share the Gospel with others?
  • Are you spending more time reading/listening to, and watching things that are of no spiritual benefit than you are things that will encourage your walk with God?
  • Are your friends and close companions pushing you closer to the Lord?
  • Are you aware of your sin – mental, attitudes, actions and words?  Do you feel the Spirit of God convict you when you sin?
  • Is your heart and attitude pleasing to God today?

These are questions that I ask myself regularly.  I am reminded that, just like a day or two of eating poorly, it only takes a day or two of disregarding spiritual things to get me away from where I should be – where I want to be, and where God wants me to be.  It’s then that I refocus and I:

  1. Confess the areas the Spirit of God points out to me.
  2. Ask for the Lord’s help to turn away from the things that pull me away from being close to my Savior.
  3. Make changes and say “no” to myself.

Mind you, these things don’t get me to heaven – I have an assurance of that based on God’s Word, that when I called on Him, He saved me from sin, eternal death and hell. But as His child, when I feed on spiritual food, I live out the truly fulfilling, joyful life of a child of God! That’s even better than fitting back into my jeans!

So, have you done some checking up on your spiritual life?  If you don’t have a relationship with God, that’s the starting place!  Here’s a great video that can explain what that means.
I’m so thankful to be a Christian – it’s the joy and delight of my heart!  How about you?  Are you enjoying your Christian life today?  If not, it may be because you need to do a little checking up on your spiritual waistline.

With love,

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God’s Word About Pets

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I recently purchased the little journal pictured here.  Why? Because I have always been a cat lover.  How about you?  Are dogs your best friend?

 

Dog, cat, hamster, rabbit or horse – whatever your pet is, they can sure get inside our hearts, can’t they?

I’ll never forget the day we had to take our nearly 20 year-old Fluffy to the vet because her life was no longer livable.  Arthritis had taken her ability to stand up, and we knew at that moment that her life was at its end.

We loved her.  Our girls had grown up with her, and even though she had the typical snooty Persian cat personality, she had endeared herself to all of us.

We kissed her.  We cried.  We said our goodbyes, and then we buried her in our back yard on the hill.  We missed her much in the days to follow, but we had to remind ourselves that she had been treated well, and lived the best kind of life for a cat! Trust me!

I’ve recently seen and heard so many comments about pets that die, that I just had to write a post about dealing with the death of a pet.  I can do it because:

  1. I’m a cat LOVER
  2. I’ve had a pet that I loved die – (Several)

I know what it’s like to hurt and cry over their death.

Better than either one of the two reasons above, I also know who Created my pets.  He is also my Creator and yours.  It’s the God of this universe.  He made the animals on Day 6 and we read that in Genesis 1:25

And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

In Genesis 2:7 we read:

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

You could also read Matthew 16:26 or Mark 8:36.

God gave man something that He did not give the animals – a living soul – a soul that would live forever.  Nowhere in the Bible do you read that animals live forever.  When an animal dies, its life is over.  It isn’t reincarnated as a new pet.  Its spirit doesn’t come back to be with you.  We have no further contact with a dead animal.

What do we have, then?

  • We do have the memories, thanks to a God who allows us to remember!
  • We do have the knowledge that we cared for them and treated them with the best love and care.
  • We do have a God who cares for the animals.
    • Consider Matthew 6:26 – Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.
      Who, but a loving God would provide for the animals of the wild?  He made them, He cares for them, and He feeds them!
  • We do have a God who cares even more for us!
    • Matt. 6:26b – Are ye not much better than they? Christ came to die for people because He loves us even more than the animals.
    • God cares when your heart is sorrowful.  Take your grief to Him in prayer and allow Him to comfort you.  I say this lovingly – there’s no use to pray to your animal or talk to them.  We never read in Scripture that they can send us messages or come back as another animal.  They’re gone, but God loves you and is there to hear your prayer.  I Peter 5:7

God loves you so much, in fact, that He sent Christ to die for you!  He gave man dominion over the animals, and He says that we are even better than them.  We have more value because we have an eternal soul that will live forever somewhere, and Christ died so that you and I could have a relationship with Him and live in heaven with Him forever.

The Truth of God’s Word is refreshing, isn’t it?  It reminds me that pets were God’s creation and idea! How kind!

It also reminds me that God cares when I hurt, but He will comfort.  How loving!

I also learn that He sacrificed His Son for me!  How gracious!

Let’s keep our focus on eternal things and make people more important than pets, and when our hearts are missing them, let’s remind ourselves of these truths that will comfort us.

Then be looking for another pet to come into your home and give it the cozy spot on your bed, just like your other kitty had…you’ll end up loving him, too.  Just give yourself a little time.

Thankful for Truth,

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